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Getting to work: No student left behind!

Year-long apprenticeships for all students of the Hospitality & Tourism program, starting from the 10th grade, are a cornerstone of the work-based learning model introduced by Swisscontact team in the partner schools of the SDC-funded Skills for Jobs Project (S4J). This model was developed together with the companies, taking into consideration their demands and the needs of school curricula. The most obvious, practical training, is only one of the element of the apprenticeship approach supported by Swisscontact. Other instruments are necessary for this model to properly function.

Although the school year has finished in June, these days you will find the VET students of Hospitality-Tourism program in Vlora, Lezha and Berat as apprentices in resorts, hotels, restaurants and bars. The best performers and the most motivated are hired for the rest of the summer by these companies. “After my practical training period, I was offered a part-time job as a cook assistant. Of course, this is a paying job”, -says Endri Mone, a student of Commercial Vocational School of Vlora. Most students were compensated already during their internship period and they are looking forward to working full time later on.

 

The first step was to identify, discuss and network with the so called “enlightened” employers, i.e. entrepreneurs who understand the importance of investing into future employees. Skills for Jobs team supported the signing of cooperation agreement between the partner schools and the more reliable companies. In the meantime, Career Centres were established to manage the placement of students at these businesses. Next, instruments for the monitoring of the practical training were developed.

 

These days, Skills for Jobs team is on the field, meeting the aprentices, their mentors in the company and their teachers, and ensuring that all goes smoothly. But not only this. Also practical training contracts are being signed by employers, schools and parents/students. These contracts institutionalize the work-based training further in the respect of rights and duties of students and employers. Parents admit that this makes them feel more comfortable and employers are happy to see things get fully legal.

 

As the by-laws for the newly approved VET law are being developed under the Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth, Swisscontact experience with work-based learning instruments is serving as a solid test to inform this process. Next, Skills for Job Team, will help the partner companies to become certified training providers.

Albania